All reader reviews by e.d.


Four of us went to Arbutus on Saturday night, having eagerly wanted to try the new star of Soho for a good while. We were disappointed. Service was indifferent to bad. We were given sparkling not still water, the bread was offered to us from a small board from which a couple of pieces had fallen to the floor seconds before. The lack of side plates (with no tablecloth) were an issue for us as well. We were presented with the next door table's starters which resulted in much confusion, and a side of cabbage ordered to accompany the mains appeared about 10 minutes after the rest of the dishes. The food was good, the mackerel "burger" and baby squid was a highlight - incredibly flavourful mackerel well seasoned, simply cooked and presented was an ideal starter. Main courses were more mixed, of size and quality. Desserts - panna cotta with rhubarb and Valrhona chocolate soup were good and cheese was from the ever brilliant Fromagerie. We were disappointed with the depth of the wine list, although the carafe option is a welcome addition. This was good not brilliant food and not cheap. For the prices now being charged service has to step up to make the overall experience worth it.

Monday, March 05, 2007
Overall rating 6 stars
Food 7 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 6

Barrafina (Soho)

We went to Barrafina slightly wary of how long it would take us to actually get to the food (see Mr Rayner's weekend review 04/02/07) although we were determined to try being huge fans of Fino. We did have to queue, for a while in fact, but the wait was made more than bearable by very nice and well priced wine and sherry (from an all Spanish list) and excellent Jamon and Pan con Tomate. Once we sat down the service was enthusiastic and informed and the food incredible. We had a feast of fresh clams, octopus and tuna tartare but the highlight was the tortilla with jamon and spinach made to order and the melt in the mouth ham croqueta. Highly recommended.

Thursday, February 08, 2007
Overall rating 10 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 10

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